A strategic content marketing plan in 5 easy steps
How do you know if your content is ‘working’?
Over the past weeks we’ve seen how goals, audience, and tactics for your content marketing change through the sales funnel. But you will never know if your content achieved the intended goal if you don’t track metrics.
It is important to tie the metrics to the goals of your content marketing strategy. You must also make sure that systems are in place to track the chosen metric. Develop procedures to make sure all metrics are monitored. Ensure that both positive and negative results are actioned.
In this week’s post we align metrics to your goals, the audience, and tactics as they change through the sales funnel.:
- Did your content build AWARENESS at the top of the funnel?
- Did your content enable EVALUATION in the middle of the funnel?
- Did your content CONVERT leads into customers at the bottom of the funnel?
Step 4: Metrics that mean something
Top-of-the-funnel goals aim to build awareness of your brand and your solution. Your metrics need to tell you if the tactics you use are achieving those goals.
Although site engagement rates are fun to watch, they are little more than vanity metrics. Metrics for site engagement include:
- bounce rates,
- number of site visits and
- average session length.
When another website links to a page on your website, like your blog, it increases your number of inbound links. Search engines use the number of inbound links to rank your site. The more the better!
Monitoring traffic by channel will help you focus appropriate tactics on all channels.
When visitors don’t respond to your call-to-action, you move them to your retargeting list. You then segment the retargeting list and retarget them based on their site activities.
In the middle of the funnel you are trying to keep prospects moving through the sales funnel. You are offering lead magnets to increase leads and email list growth. Metrics that will help in the middle of the funnel include:
- Number of leads generated and email list growth are direct measures of an asset’s success. You can track lead growth through a CRM and email list growth through email service providers like MailChimp.
- Offer conversion rate tells you how many visitors opted in to your lead magnet offer. It is quoted as a percent of total visitors to your landing page.
- Retargeting list growth allows you to try other engagement options with visitors that didn’t take up the original offer.
- Newsletter email open/click-through-rate helps you learn what interests your list; what headlines and content are working.
At the bottom of the funnel you want to keep your list happy. You don’t want to bombard them with offers. You want to keep upselling and cross-selling. You may want to retain customers on any pay services you offer. So, what metrics will tell you if your prospects are happy? Of course, the number of sales-qualified leads is the important metric at the bottom of the funnel. However, other metrics are worth considering:
- Offer conversion rate is determined by dividing the number of purchases by the number of sales page visits.
- Promo email open/click-through-rates can be monitored by your list manager.
- Retargeting list growth represents another opportunity to target leads with alternate offers to spark their interest.
- By determining your average customer value, you can decide how much you can spend to acquire customers.
- Retention rate will tell you how many customers stayed with you during a given period. To calculate, subtract the number of customers acquired during the period from the number you have at the end of the period. Then divide that number by the number of customers you had at the start of the period.
- By monitoring buyer recency/frequency rates, you can keep your brand and messaging in front with quality content.
Over the past few weeks we have seen how goals, audience, tactics, and metrics for your content marketing change through the sales funnel:
- At the top of the funnel your goals, tactics and metrics focus on building AWARENESS of your brand, your solution.
- In the middle of the funnel your goals, tactics and metrics aim to provide information that encourages EVALUATION of your solution.
- At the bottom, your goals, tactics and metrics need to CONVERT leads into customers.
The final step, Step 5, in the process is to make sure you document you plan and incorporate regular reviews to keep the document live.